Something that occurred to me recently is how much independence and individualism is present and valued in our society, to the point so many people are becoming rather selfish in their romantic relationships.
Many seem to feel as if their partner has to revolve their entire world around them, but that they don’t have to do the same. It results in alot of transactional behaviours in relationships where judgment and blame takes centre-stage. You are constantly checking off mental lists to see where your partner is not measuring up to what you want from them.
Mind you, I’m not even talking about just letting someone go once you’ve figured out that you aren’t compatible but actually demanding that a person just goes about the relationship in a way that only fits your needs, wants and desires. No room for communication or compromise.
Oh and the oft-given solutions when things aren’t going your way? Just dump them! Block them! Just ghost! Cut them off!
This self-absorbed and honestly, avoidant way of going about relationships is the complete antithesis of love, which is all about sacrifice, teamwork and growing together.
Why selfish people can’t truly love someone else
It is difficult for someone who is super self-absorbed and into themselves to love someone else healthily. Think about it, if you were mentally and emotionally occupied with your own needs and wants, your own habits, would it be easy to give all of that up to make space for someone else? Do you even want to make space for someone else?
Are you able to sus out red flags on a date? Selfish behaviour in your date, perhaps? 😉 Find out below!
Also, let’s take a minute to define what love is. According to the late author bell hooks love is about care, kindness, affection, love, respect, trust, loyalty and so many other ingredients. Love is all about a soul recognition and growth, about wanting to see another person happy and growing in. It requires quite abit of compromise and sacrifice on your part and is unconditional – putting someone else’ happiness and needs above your own sometimes, knowing full well that they may not be able to return your love in equal measure anytime soon.
Is a selfish person capable of that? I think not.
Does selfishness destroy relationships?
I’ve seen selfishness completely destroy a healthy relationship or rather the relationship was not healthy in the first place because selfish partners do tend to attract people who are people-pleasers and who seem a little bit co-dependent in relationships. These are the people who are willing to put up with a selfish person’s behaviour and go above and beyond to meet the selfish person’s needs.
Ultimately, selfishness lends itself to a very unhealthy dynamic where the balance is tipped in favour of the selfish partner.
How can I be a little less selfish?
If you are the selfish person in a partnership, therapy could actually help alot. It would help you to develop empathy for someone else because you start becoming more mindful of what it is the other party is doing for you and being thankful for that.
When you out yourself in another person’s shows and imagine them going through what they are doing through by being in a relationship with you.. It can help you create more empathy.
Other activities could include building more self-awareness, consciously being grateful for how your life has turned out and being more aware of how others have positively impacted your life. I think selfish individuals can sometimes be too focused on the negative actions of others instead of realising what they have going for them.
Going out and volunteering and thinking of ways of giving back to the community can also make us more cognizant of how we are all intertwined as humans and how we can positively impact one another.
Independence is not selfishness
Many times, independence gets confused with selfishness and people tend to conflate the two. You can be an independent person, strong, opinionated and everything and still have empathy for your partner and still love and treat your partner as an equal.
Being independent is not about being self-centred or self-absorbed or being me me me all the time and thinking your partner’s needs don’t matter as much as your own.
If you want a healthy, loving relationship where two equals are as committed to the relationship as the other, then it’s time to say goodbye to selfish behaviour. There’s no selfishness in love. In fact love – true love, not one that is codependent and operating on cathexis – is selfless and unconditional. It’s deep. It’s about how you can love and support your partner and not about what other people can do for you.
The question is – are you ready to love someone in that manner?